Tablets and smartphones are quickly becoming the platform of choice when it comes to online shopping. According to IMRG Capgemini, mobile accounted for 23.2 percent of online sales last quarter, up 11.6 percent year-on-year. What’s more, the actual proportion of retail site visits coming from mobile was up to 34 percent from 21 percent a year ago.
Click and collect is going strong as well, as it represented 16 percent of online sales, up from 12 percent last year. Bounce rates are also going up, largely as a result of higher mobile penetration.
IMRG chief information officer Tina Spooner said there is a correlation between the surge in mobile commerce and the rise in visitor bounce rates on mobile retail sites.
“While consumers [people, Ed.] have generally become more confident in using their mobile devices as a shopping tool, the latest data suggests they have also become more demanding,” Spooner said. “Higher search volumes will inevitably result in an increase in bounce rates as shoppers will often compare products and pricing across several brands.”
Spooner argued that offering an engaging and relevant experience for customers across all channels will help retailers achieve the end goal of higher conversion rates and an increase in customer loyalty.
Capgemini UK VP of consumer products and retail Chris Webster pointed out another interesting trend – record levels of sales via mobile devices correspond to higher rates for click and collect.
“This correlation of mobile ordering and location flexible collection is at the heart of the mobile internet and the impact it will have on consumer behaviour. Maybe we are truly entering the Martini age – anytime, anyplace, anywhere,” he said. Talk about product placement, Webster.
For months now we’ve been reading very optimistic reports on the future of mobile payments and m-commerce, but one outfit is apparently looking beyond the hype. Research firm eMarketer has slashed its growth estimate for proximity mobile payments in half.
Last October eMarketer forecasted that mobile payments would hit $2.13 billion this year, but in its latest note it puts the figure at $1 billion. Although the number of mobile transactions has more than tripled over the past two years, growth is apparently slowing down, plagued by a multitude of issues.
The firm pointed out that delays and adoption issues are hampering growth. The fact that there are already several competing platforms isn’t helping, either. However, it is still looking good in the long run. By 2016 mobile transactions should hit 2016, roughly a year behind the previous eMarketer schedule. Just a year later, in 2017, mobile payments should hit $58 billion.
Aside from the usual hardware teething problems, mobile payment outfits need to address security concerns and streamline the process itself. At the moment, the user experience still involves too much friction, according to PayPal CTO James Barrese. The ultimate goal is to come up with a one-touch payment scheme that would be a lot simpler and quicker than the good old card swipe. That probably won’t come about soon, and maintaining a level of security deemed acceptable by consumers might be very challenging.
In addition, the fact that there are several players vying for their slice of the pie, using their own systems and infrastructure, means that there is plenty of room for consolidation, reckons Venture Beat. However, big players aren’t very open to consolidation, or even cooperation, hence it is very unlikely that a single platform can break out of the pack and transform itself into an industry standard.
Mobile commerce is slowly but surely going mainstream and a recent report from BI Intelligence found that m-commerce spending will skyrocket over the next couple of years.
The mobile boom is changing shopping habits, and fast. Consumers are using their shiny new smartphones and tablets to redeem coupons, research products, compare prices and, of course, pay for stuff both online and offline.
The trend has not gone unnoticed by major outfits and it is easy to see why, there are plenty of opportunities for just about every consumer oriented industry. The BI Intelligence report found that 29 per cent of US mobile users have already made purchases on their smartphones. Mobile sales accounted for 6.6 per cent of Cyber Monday e-commerce sales in 2011, up from just 3.9 per cent in 2010.
Bank of America now estimates that US and European shoppers will spend $67.1 billion using their smartphones and tablets.
Aside from huge revenue opportunities, mobile commerce has a few other things going for it as well. It is believed that mobile payments can create a more direct link between brands and consumers, with more coupons and loyalty reward programmes.
BI also concluded that the nature of mobile commerce makes it uniquely attractive to marketers, with technologies such as location targeting and in-store mobile marketing.